Four Delaware Nonprofit Groups To Harness Technology for Literacy

WILMINGTON, Del. - Four Delaware nonprofit organizations can fund literacy programs that effectively harness new technologies, thanks to $50,000 in grants from Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications.

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and Verizon spokesman and renowned actor James Earl Jones today presented the grants, ranging from $10,000 to $17,000, to officials of the nonprofit groups in ceremonies at the Bank One Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington. The awards include:

  • Middletown-Odessa-Townsend Charter School -- $13,000 for the school's Accelerated Reader Expansion project, which utilitzes computerized tests to help students strengthen their reading abilities and assists parents in following the progress of their children.

  • Jewish Family Service of Delaware, Inc. - $17,000 for use in the Media Matters Project, a video production initiative that works with community centers, businesses and law enforcement agencies to help at-risk youth gain literacy and acquire marketable job skills.

  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Delaware, Georgetown Unit -- $10,000 to expand the clubs' after-school Power Hour program, which offers mentoring and computer-based instruction for children and adults while addressing the needs of its Hispanic membership.

  • Thomas A. Edison Charter School -- $10,000 for use in the school's Raising Readers program, which offers computer lab instruction and workshops to parents, who can use their new skills to increase literacy at home.

Verizon Foundation earlier this year asked Delaware nonprofits to submit proposals for literacy grants that would fund projects employing new technologies to improve the effectiveness of the programs. The list of applications was then narrowed down to nine, and the grant-winners were chosen by Delawareans based on the votes they cast on the Verizon Delaware Web site.

"The ability to use new technologies and strong reading skills are critical to success in today's highly competitive job market," said Joshua W. Martin, president of Verizon Delaware.

"Verizon wants to help ensure that every child has an equal opportunity to acquire these skills and enhance their opportunities for success. The programs receiving literacy grants represent a positive step toward attainment of this goal," Martin said.

Verizon residential telephone customers also can support literacy programs like these by checking the box on their phone bill and contributing $1 each month to Verizon Reads. All funds contributed will directly support Delaware literacy organizations.

Verizon Foundation last year awarded 22,000 grants totaling more than $70 million to charitable and nonprofit agencies that focus on improving basic and computer literacy, enriching communities through technology, and creating a skilled work force. The foundation uses its resources in the United States and abroad to develop partnerships in technology and connect them with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and the economically and socially disadvantaged. The foundation also supports Verizon Volunteers, an incentive program that last year encouraged Verizon employees to volunteer more than 500,000 hours in their communities and provided $27.8 million in combined contributions to charitable and nonprofit organizations. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizon.com/foundation.

Verizon Communications

A Fortune 10 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $67 billion in revenues and 221,000 employees. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 137.6 million access line equivalents and 34.6 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is the third largest long-distance carrier for U.S. consumers, with 14.6 million long-distance lines. The company is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.